Tricounty News

Kimball Area School District hires new superintendent

Current Albert Lea High School Principal Jim Wagner is Kimball’s new superintendent. The decision to hire Wagner earlier this month was the unanimous number-one choice by the school board and a 15-member community committee. Wagner’s contract was approved at a special school board meeting Wednesday, April 2, and he is slated to begin employment Tuesday, July 1. The contract calls for Mr. Wagner to split his time performing duties as superintendent and community education director. Certainly well qualified, Wagner taught science for 11 years at St. Cloud Apollo High School, where he also coached football, wrestling, and track. He worked as an assistant principal and a high school principal in the Aitkin and Monticello districts. “I received my undergraduate degree at St. John’s University and played football for the legendary football coach John Gagliardi,” Wagner said.

Raised on a family farm in the Royalton area, Mr. Wagner is excited for the opportunity to work at the Kimball school district. “I am familiar with the area, as I am from Central Minnesota, and the Kimball community provides the things I look for to support my children and family. I am impressed with the enthusiasm the community has to move forward and be the best in the area.”

Wagner describes his leadership qualities as open and honest. “I always push people who are around me to do better and be better. We are capable of more than we think. Sometimes we just need a little push and that is what I am able to provide.” Those virtues will be well tested in his duties as community education director, where Jim will be involved in the education and programs for students before they get to kindergarten. Additionally, he will assist adults who are looking for agendas in the community that provide education, health, and fitness for the years after school. Wagner believes that a big challenge facing K-12 education today is providing children the resources and training to be competitive with the surrounding communities anW-Jim-Wagner-image001d states. “Our children are expected to know and perform more than we did at that age, and we have to provide them the tools and education to be prepared and ready once they graduate.” Mr. Wagner feels the way to attack this matter is to first address what the district needs are. “I would meet with staff, students and community members to see from their perspective the issues they face. From there I would put together a plan and get key members of the community involved to get the plan in motion to provide for our students and community.”

As a dedicated principal,
Wagner has jumped into the American Wrestling Federation ring and grappled to raise money for schools’ fitness centers in which he has worked. His devotion and “toughness” has realized nearly $30,000 for new equipment to accommodate students in the buildings.

Jim Wagner will begin his new job as superintendent in the Kimball school district July 1.


As a dedicated family man, Jim enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife, Elizabeth, and their four children. He also likes farming and flying airplanes. Jim and Elizabeth, who works at the St. Cloud Hospital, are in the process of locating a home in the Kimball area. Welcome aboard, Mr. Wagner!